Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.~ Kahlil Gibran
Let me preface this blog entry by mentioning that I am a firm believer in being in the right place at the right time. I believe everything happens for a reason and that every person you meet is for a reason. I think my story is great proof of this.
In my last blog entry I mentioned the amazing new friends I made during my first two flights to California. So far, we are doing a good job of maintaining contact – and i’m so glad! They made my initial trip out there even more exciting.
As noted before, I visited San Francisco with my friends who live in California. We ventured through the city for a few hours that day. I now realize why everyone told me San Francisco was a wild ride! The hills were towering and the curves were tight.
The same day we visited San Fran, we also made our way to Santa Cruz. This was a relatively brief trip, but it was a really cute beach town! The sea lions were up close and personal as well.
After those first couple of days the adventure continued. I took a drive around parts of Route 1 (north) and made various stops along the way. I found many beautiful beaches with incredible panoramic views. Many of the beaches were empty, and I was able to enjoy them for myself. I also took the time to visit some of the shops local to Morro Bay and check out Morro Rock. By the way, I stayed in Morro Bay at the Sundown Inn, which was an awesome and inexpensive little retro motel.
My friend and I (I know a few people who live in Cali), took a rather strenuous hike up Bishop’s Peak. For those who don’t know, Bishop’s Peak is a volcanic plug that reaches a height of over 1,500 ft in San Luis Obispo, California. We made it to the top, which was super rewarding since I am not in the best shape in the world! We made it just in time for a gorgeous sunset! The views were breathtaking. Despite the difficulty, it was certainly worth it.
My trip ended in a big way. The drive up route 1 began around 10am on Thursday morning. My friends and I started in San Luis Obispo and worked or way north. The weather was perfect, which made sightseeing even better! We went farther north than I have ever been, with a goal of reaching Big Sur. My friend said he knew of a little coffee shop in Big Sur that he wanted to stop at, so thats what we did. It was a quaint little cabin-esque place. The people were friendly and the food/drinks were great.
As we were sitting outside of the cafe talking, a lady came up to us and said that they were doing a photoshoot and that we were in the frame- but the photographer seemed to like us there. She asked if it was OK that we stay in the background of the shot and if we could sign a model release. Once we asked what this was for, she said “we are shooting a BMW ad that will be going into GQ.”
My reaction: ?!?!?!?!?
So of course we signed the release! Apparently the ad comes out in the December or January issue, but who knows, they may not even use the photos of me drinking a chai latte in the background! I felt inclined to ask the lady about the photographer. She said, “his name is Cliff Watts.” I’m not very savvy on contemporary photographers so the name didn’t ring a bell to me. Nonetheless, I asked if I could speak to him when he was done the shoot and happily, she agreed.
Once the shoot was complete, they called me into the room. Cliff was kind enough to sit down and talk to me. He was down to earth, friendly, and talking to him was a breeze. He was so open and talked to me like we were friends. It was an incredible experience to be able to ask him questions and generally chat with him since I of course have a love for photography. He also said a few things that really made me think about my own artistic goals. Shortly after talking, we left the cafe to finish our trip. I looked into him that evening and his portfolio shows photos he has taken of everyone from Usher to James Franco and even Beyonce.
What were the odds of a celebrity photographer shooting at a small cafe in Big Sur at the exact moment as me?
This trip taught me a lot. I met so many amazing people and saw so many amazing things. My favorite sights were most definitely in Big Sur.
I believe that everyone I met on that trip stepped into my path for a reason. Everyone from the airplane all the way to the cliffs of Big Sur made the experience unforgettable. I also can’t thank 3 friends out in Cali enough for spending so much time with me. This trip helped me see things a little bit more clearly – and it even re-ignited some much needed inspiration.
There is no doubt that I will be back there again in the near future. If any of the people I met this past week happen to read this, thank you for making my trip particularly special!